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Being 'Plastic Person'

Thames Water Employee


 Back in September 2018, I wore a boiler suit made of 175 plastic bottles, to symbolise how many plastic bottles are used and wasted by a Londoner per year.


This was in aid of the initiative we are currently working on with Refill London, to provide free tap water for the people of London and reduce single use plastics.


When it was in the early stage of development, the idea was to get somebody in the suit and simply take a picture with one of our smartphones, which my boss was quick to volunteer me for!


After hearing the idea I swallowed my pride and agreed to star in the photo, it wasn’t until  two weeks later I learnt that while I was annual leave, the idea developed somewhat…


As I was attending our weekly newsroom meeting, one of the guys from our brand team who was organising the photo was updating other areas of the business about what we were up to.


He went on to tell everybody, including myself, that we were now doing a professionally shot video across London! Not quite the “Simple photo” I was expecting but I was still keen.


Fast forward to a month later in September when I met the video production team in Southbank for filming day, I thought to myself “At least I’ll have a film crew with me” so it’s obvious that this is some sort of PR stunt and I’m not making an incredibly bold fashion statement.


But the very first shot we did was from a distance, I had to walk ALONE across Westminster Bridge!


Because they were filming I couldn’t look at or interact with any of the many people staring and laughing, which was a challenge in itself.


Also the bottles made a lot of racket so my discretion levels were at an all time low.

There were lots of tourists taking photos of each other on the bridge, I couldn’t politely stop and wait for them to finish, I had to walk straight in front of their cameras!


The rest of the day consisted of pretty much the same, walk around London getting different shots and trying to get people’s reactions, a couple of people stopped me for selfies, which was funny as they didn’t even ask what we were doing or why.


Although it turned into a very long day and I was beginning to get hot in the suit, I think it went really well and the video looks great!


Part two of my adventures as ‘Plastic Person’ was #NationalRefillDay


This day consisted of me wearing the suit again next to a refill water fountain we had at Kingscross to promote the upcoming rollout of refill fountains all over London.


This time I actually got to interact with the public which was brilliant! The suit obviously got a lot of attention and it was a perfect way for me to describe what we were doing and why it’s so crucial.


Lots of people took a real interest and even shared their own stories of their fight against single use plastics which was amazing to hear.


It felt great showing that, not just me, but we as a company go to extra miles like this just to get our messaging out there and influence change, people saw how passionate we were and I think it rubbed off!


All in all it was a great experience and I’m proud to have called myself ‘Plastic Person’.





Water Royalty

I remember seeing Plastic Person on my way to work, but I was in a rush and couldn't get a selfie.Great video! Will Plastic Person be making a comeback? 

Thames Water Employee

Thank you!! A potential comeback could be on the cards, hopefully we influence enough change that the stat goes down, then I wouldn't have to wear as many bottles haha!

Water Royalty

It definitely made me realise I need to cut more plastic out of my life. Thanks for the reply! Smiley Happy

Community Manager
Community Manager

Must confess, I'm the one who volunteered Callum but he did a fantastic job! Due to the instruction of the film crew, we had to stay 40-50 metres behind 'Plastic Person' which mean't Callum was left to walk around London's most iconic sites looking very lonely! 


It's great that the message is being shared and behaviours are changing! Thanks @MindTheGap for hanging out with us on our brand new community and for engaging with the post! Remember there are lots of badges and ranks to be earned so get involved! Smiley Very Happy 

Water Royalty

This could be a mascot type figure for Thames Water - bring Plastic person out more! Another really good way of highlighting a big issue, not just on your region but the entire country. I do some work in environment and it can be a tough sell at times.